BLOG: Have Razorlight killed guitar music?

Razorlight: never knowlingly interesting.
Razorlight: never knowlingly interesting.

There's a theory doing the rounds that, in commercial terms at least, guitar bands are out and electronic pop acts are on the way back.

The argument, proposed last Saturday by Peter Robinson in The Guardian, is that 'landfill indie' - that is, guitar music so bland that not even a bottle of Tabasco could liven it up - has bored the music-buying public so much that they're now seeking solace in the sound of the synth.

Robinson cites the likes of Scouting For Girls, The Wombats and - of course -Razorlight as archetypal landfillers, while Little Boots, La Roux, Lady GaGa are seen to be at the vanguard of electro's new wave.

Who decides?

While I have some sympathy with this line of thinking, I can't help feeling that it oversimplifies things a little. I don't doubt that we're going to be hearing more synth-powered pop on the radio this year, but has the decision that guitars are no longer cool been taken by the public or a media that thrives on trends and perceived renewal?

I dislike by-the-numbers indie as much as anyone, but that doesn't mean that no contemporary guitar band has anything interesting to offer. What's more, while Little Boots' seemingly pre-ordained success means that we're sure to be seeing lots more girls and guys wielding laptops and Tenori-ons, it doesn't follow that they're all going to be great.

So, what do you think - has indie had its day (for now, at least) or will blokes with guitars continue to dominate?

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.